R Scott

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since Apr 13, 2012
Kansas Zone 6a
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Recent posts by R Scott

Mushroom flour gives you all the earthy flavor, it makes the best gravy.
8 hours ago
You are right about the chiten.  You can buy chitenase (sp?) enzymes to help with digestion, they are sold to help with Candida issues.  But heat works.

I remember Trad Cotter mentioning it took high heat to break down the chiten, he suggested sauteeing until well done to release the most nutrients.  He said butter was best because of synergistic nutrients, but a high temp veg oil like avocado or coconut worked.  Yes, that much heat did break down some nutrients, but mostly ones that are easier to get in other foods, the unique nutrients survived.

One trick that I have used when I had an abundance is to dehydrate them and then grind into a flour. You can add the flour to soups and gravy and breads.  I do a low heat dehydration and then toast in the oven to crack the chiten before grinding in the food processor.
11 hours ago
So many things you do with two hands without realizing it.  Being a new grandparent with the kids living next door, I suddenly was reminded how hard simple things are to do while holding a baby.  

Opening jars! My uncle mounted an oil filter wrench in the back of a counter so my aunt could use both hands on the lid while it held the jar.

Trash cans are the same way, you need one hand to run the lid while the second holds the can so it doesn't fall over.  They need to be tied to a post or even better, in a cart.

Garden tools need shorter handles or different tools.  Dig with a grub hoe instead of a shovel. Weed with scuffle hoe with a 40 inch handle instead of a 60 inch handle regular hoe.  

Pickaroon for firewood. Two wheeled carts for everything.  
12 hours ago
They run very different from an electric one.  You are used to that with your solar electricity.  But if you don't get the sun power you expected, the food will probably mold, at least in the wet season.

My wife has been experimenting with curing herbs.  Basically, take a closet or tent, put a small dehumidifier in it, and put the herbs out on mesh or hang.  It stays cooler than a dehydrator and seems to work almost as fast.  The little dehumidifier draws 60 watts and will run from wall power or 12v battery. Not sure it's enough to dry wet food like banana bread, but maybe a similar idea could be added to a solar dehydrator to boost it at night or cloudy days.
1 day ago
Efficiency is a tough one.  They both use the same power when the heater is on, but how often it turns on depends on the insulation (which the miele is probably better) and the amount of dead space in the oven (smaller is better as long as it isn't TOO small). So they are pretty close and the difference will be how you use it.  If the Panasonic is big enough to hold the meal, it will probably use less power. If you have to cook/bake in batches because it's too small and the miele could do it all in one batch, that would be more efficient.  But you could also spend the price difference on upgrading solar or an instant pot or roaster or other extra cooking tool just for Christmas.

I can tell you we LOVE the steam function on our cuisinart.
1 day ago
Is it lived in year round? Seasonal? Weekend retreat? How good are the windows and doors? Any ceiling/roof insulation?

I am really not a fan of vapor barriers added to older homes and cabins.  They cause MAJOR moisture issues if the rest of the wall is still leaky.

The easy answer is closed cell foam, but even the greenest foams aren't very green.

If the owners are OK with the price, I would use rockwool in the walls and floor and then use either rigid rockwool or plywood as a breathable barrier.  Tyvek or another "breathable" barrier would be the next choice, something that has at least a chance to dry through.

Floors are a real challenge depending on the ground clearance and moisture levels.

Don't over insulate the walls if the ceiling and windows are still leaky.  Insulation is only as good as the weakest link.
2 days ago
I am working through this issue myself.  Done a fair bit of research into earthships dealing with this.  First, they have a tempering cell--a small cell to release the heat back to the house and prevent cooking the main greywater cell biology.  The kitchen sink cell has red wigglers and bananas to deal with the grease and nutrient in the water.  I am going to add some saltwater marsh plants to deal with the dishwasher detergents, while using the greenest soaps we can find/make.  

I will be doing this in an earthship-esque live-in greenhouse that will (hopefully) be subtropical or better in the winter.  You will need to figure out what to do in the winter.  I highly suggest a small greenhouse that can stay above freezing so you can filter the water year round.  
3 days ago
I had it bad growing up.  I have a learned a few tricks, besides moving south.  First, get outside as close to sunrise as possible.  Ten minutes of early morning light with no glasses, looking as close to the sun as comfortable will reset your internal clock.  Cut the carbs, the blood sugar roller coaster greatly increases risk of depression in general.

The sad lights were SAD.  Light technology has really improved, but we are still more worried about the cost than the health impact.  I find a small halogen bulb in a desk lamp does as much as some expensive fancy LED.
5 days ago
I have seen pictures of the arched style, but have never seen one in real life or found a dealer.  I like the concept, but would have to see one and the actual materials before I commit.  I have seen lots of buildings that looked good on paper but failed miserably in real life.

6 days ago
Are they the type of building where you pull up one arch at a time? The first set of arches are a lot harder than the rest.  Plan on having equipment rental or a several friends for a work party the first day.  The rest go up a lot easier.

A couple things to remember about metal buildings: they condense easily and don't breathe, so any insulation needs to dry quickly and be very mold resistant.
1 week ago